Joe Flacco likes that Ravens kept offensive line together

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Center Matt Birk’s retirement meant the Ravens had no chance to bring back their entire starting offensive line from the Super Bowl, but they did the next best thing.

Re-signing left tackle Bryant McKinnie after McKinnie flirted with other teams allows the Ravens to put four-fifths of that line back on the field when the 2013 season gets underway. Throw in the fact that Gino Gradkowski, Birk’s projected replacement at center, has a year in the system under his belt and the Ravens have strong continuity from the 2012 season. That makes quarterback Joe Flacco a happy man.

“Yeah, it does,” Flacco said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I think every year we’ve been here, we’ve juggled the offensive line around a pretty good amount. And at some point or another during the middle of the season or come playoff time or all through preseason and at the beginning of the season, we’ve switched something or just made our starting line. So, I think the fact that we have a pretty good feel about who is going to be up there is definitely good for me, and the fact that they played so well together last year at the end of the season is definitely a big confidence booster.”

Starting with the same group doesn’t mean the Ravens won’t have to shuffle things at some point during the season, of course, but the prospect of picking up where the offense left off has to be an appealing one to the Ravens. They can focus on less settled areas, like wide receiver, while letting the line continue to do its thing.

13 responses to “Joe Flacco likes that Ravens kept offensive line together

  1. Best O Line in the NFL. Best QB in the NFL. Best running backs, best receivers. Best FO. Soon to have the best defense. Look out SB XLVIII, here come the Ravens again!

  2. for all of the talk of the impending ravens demise, truth is we lost 2 players on offense. birk and boldin. the ravens have always done a great job of replacing players. lots of competition at center and wide receiver…and if the repacement isnt on the roster we still have some cap space to use. time for playoff run 6 with joe and john. go ravens!

  3. They lost Matt Birk which will be HUGE.
    Plus McKinnie is the most overweight lazy tackle in the league. We had both these guys in Minny for 8+ years. Birk was a stud. McKinnie did the bear minimum to not get cut. Then showed up at camp 30 lbs heavy and got cut. He played well in the post season, mostly becuz he barely played the reg season. If u think u are getting 16+ games from McKinnie you are on something.

  4. They have not replaced the talent lost. Two HOF players on the D are gone along with many big play makers and starting role players. To say the talent was replaced is putting lipstick on a pig and hope the fans buy it. I agree with 8-8, which may get them in the playoffs as a wildcard. But, as we saw last year, all they have to do is get in the playoffs any way they can and then hope to get red hot again.

  5. For what it’s worth, other than Birk’s family all Raven fans knew Birk was the worst starter on the OL for the last 2 years.

    Oher is entering a contract year (i believe) and our Guards could be the best in the NFL.

    McKinnie’s effort and off season work will always be a concern and clearly the Center spot will also, but it’s this unit will be better than the one that made the playoff run.

    The team’s big question is saftey……but that job will be easier due to the one of the best pass rushes in the league and the most talented set of CB’s……..It’s Joe and John’s super bowl to lose.

    Just the facts.

  6. Birk will be a huge loss. He played the majority of time on his back after getting bull rushed. It was time for Birk to go. Had he not retired, he would have shared the limo ride to BWI with Pollard.

  7. “Can’t wait to see Jarvis Jones run right through that oline.”

    What are you talking about? Jarvis Jones is already injured. If you’re going to trash talk at least pick someone not currently nursing a plaguing hamstring.

  8. What are you talking about? Jarvis Jones is already injured. If you’re going to trash talk at least pick someone not currently nursing a plaguing hamstring.

    Hey grammar and diction guru what is “a plaguing hamstring “? Is that like a persistent brain fart? Could you clear the air genius?

  9. Nofool, there is something called a dictionary. Look it up. While you’re at it, look up pedestrian, impertinent, ribald, and obnoxious.

  10. I will say that the Ravens offensive line looks the strongest that it has been in a while. Plus the unit has some depth. We’ll see!

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